Municipal-treated wastewater reuse for plant nurseries irrigation.Water Res. 2004 Jul; 38(12):2939-47.WR
Results of an experiment aimed at assessing the possibility of reusing reclaimed wastewater for nursery ornamental plants are presented. Tests were carried out in Pistoia (Italy). A pilot plant for tertiary treatment (filtration and peracetic acid + UV disinfection) of the local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent was set up. An experimental plot with six containerized ornamental species was irrigated with the tertiary effluent and growth and physiological parameters were monitored. A control plot irrigated with fertigated water (nutrient-enriched groundwater) was also set up in order to compare the plants response to different kinds of irrigation water. The refinery treatment by filtration and disinfection with Peracetic Acid (PAA) and UV together was very effective in bacteria removal. The value of 2 MPN of Total Coliforms in 100 ml set by Italian law (until June 2003) for unrestricted irrigation was constantly satisfied. Agronomic results indicate no major limitations to the use of a tertiary effluent as an irrigation source in an ornamental plant nursery. The nutrient content of the tertiary effluent was able to maintain good plant growth as well as fertigated water for most of the tested species.